House Chairperson, Chairperson of the NCOP, hon members, it gives me great pleasure to present the fifth Parliament sectoral engagements, covering the work we did in all these important public participation gatherings.
It was indeed another chapter in ensuring that our people are publicly involved on matters that impact on their lives. This was also further in line with the constitutional conjuncture, to ensure that Parliament provides a platform for the consideration of issues of national importance that affect all sectors within our society.
Let me just to remind members, if we had forgotten that in 2014-15, there were no sectoral activities precisely, because of that transitional period from one Parliament to the other and that affected the work of Parliament in so far as sectoral activities are concerned.
However, we find it to be quite of interest to have convened a round table on Youth Roundtable on the National Development Plan, NDP, in 2015. I will try my best, because of the nature of the report to speak to the objectives and resolutions of these issues, instead of really getting to the macro issues that informed the organisation of such.
At the round table, we sought to provide an opportunity for young parliamentarians from all legislatures and young leaders from civil society organisations to debate the implementation of the NDP with a specific focus on matters relating to young people.
To enable Parliament and provincial legislatures to ensure that the appropriate policies are developed to realise the objectives of the NDP, in relation to the youth and where policies have been developed, that these are implemented accordingly
To create an opportunity for Parliament to demonstrate a deeper level of seriousness in dealing with the challenges of young people and find creative ways within the policy framework of finding solutions to problems facing the young people.
The resolutions emanating from the round table are as follows: that there is a need for stringent oversight on the implementation of the Youth Accord; the value of procurement of services and how youth can benefit from opportunities afforded in this regard needs to be examined and overseen by parliamentary committees whether it is a select committees in the NCOP or portfolio committees; to conduct a study on the potential of the Brazil, Russia, India and China, BRICS, youth forum in relation to advancing youth development and
the promotion of sharing of facilities in order to create access to schools without facilities
The roundtable concluded with a declaration along with a unanimous agreement that the establishment of a Young Parliamentarians Multiparty Forum, focusing on youth development is a necessary structure to be established.
The establishment of a Young Parliamentarians Multiparty Forum would therefore enable the processing of youth related matters and enable strategic oversight to advance the youth empowerment agenda, which we put to be considered as a matter for the sixth Parliament.
We further went on to host the Women's Parliament in September, under the theme Accelerating Women's Empowerment and Development, through engendering the NDP and facilitating for Gender Equality.
We brought together a broad spectrum of women activists from Parliament, provincial legislature and civil society organisations. The proceedings emphasised the success made by the ANC government with regard to accelerating women's empowerment, including the launch of key reports on the status of women in the South African economy.
South Africa's good ranking in international gender indexes and the increase in women's representation in Parliament. In addition, during the event a manual for Members of Parliament on mainstreaming the rights of women, children and people with disabilities was launched.
A key focus area during the deliberations was gender-responsive planning and budgeting and the positive impact this can have on the ability of programmes to accelerate women's empowerment. I am reading it out without further elaboration on that matter, because I know that members felt very strong on that particular issue.
In addition to gender-based violence, delegates also noted barriers to women's empowerment and development such as intimate femicide. The feminisation of poverty and health challenges such as cervical cancer.
The resolutions are as follows: that we need to improve our oversight and coordination in relation to gender-based issues and of course they must be prioritised and a national plan must be develop to deal with the scourge of gender-based violence; gender-responsive budgeting should be undertaken by all government departments; all provinces to establish Multiparty Women's Caucus, because we
established that and in most of the provinces we didn't have such a caucus; there should be review of legislation to address the needs and challenges faced by sex workers; the Ministry of Women in the presidency should be adequately resourced and there be a strong mechanism to monitor and evaluate the programmes related to women's issues.
Linked to that, was the National Women's Parliament in 2016 that was held in partnership with the provincial legislatures paying tribute to and celebrating the resilience, resolve and fortitude of women in South Africa's struggle for liberation. The event was held at the Saint George Hotel in Irene Pretoria in 2016.
The theme was Women United in moving South Africa Forward. Delegates at the National Women's Parliament felt that women's participation in the economy remains largely undervalued if not completely ignored. Women's mass entry into the workforce has produced significant attitudinal changes and South African government has taken legislative measures to combat inequality. While it is a progressive move that has the positive, there were gaps identified and the strong feeling came out of that say we need to do more.
The conference therefore resolved the following: that the feminisation of poverty is a significant challenge in women's economic empowerment; that gender inequalities in labour markets persist and that the pace and scale of transformation towards realising women's economic empowerment has been unacceptably slow; that access and effective usage of technology is key to unlocking women's economic potential; that Parliament needs to engage in oversight to ensure that the cost of access to broadband is not exorbitant, thereby excluding the poor from using it for their development, especially women in the rural areas; changing women's lives is not possible without the states ensuring that expenditure is planned and monitored from a gender perspective and that the gendered implications of all government programmes are clear unlike an earlier view of a lone participation of the role of the state.
The next event after the 2016 one was the Women's Charter Review Conference that was held in September 2018. The conference was centred on reviewing the Women's Charter for effective equality. The primary objective was to start a conversation on the progress made since the adoption of the charters. We reflected on 1954 Charter and also we looked at how the charter was then further developed in 1994.
The Women's Charter was at the focal point of the Women's Charter Review Conference. The overarching themes and breakaway discussions were formulated from the articles contained in the Women's Charter.
Based on an amalgamation of the articles, the review conference was structured around five broad themes. These became the subject areas for the breakaway discussions and so forth. We looked at equality, law and administration of justice; health and social services; advancing inclusive economic growth, development and infrastructure; violence against women; education, training and the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the economy on how then women can access and play a role.
We resolved as follows: that issue of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, LGBTI, community are often ignored in legislation and policy and this could be and not that only limited to that but should be addressed as a matter of urgency; that conference further resolved to integrate a gender perspective into the design, implementation and evaluation of development policies, plans and programmes, including budget policies and ensure coordination between line ministries, gender policymakers, gender machineries and other relevant government organisations and institutions with gender expertise.
We further resolved that Africans in particular and black in general women must be prioritised in so far as the questions of the land redistribution plans are concerned; security of tenure for women, especially women in the farm areas and farm workers; a concerted efforts should be made to encourage and support girls in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields of study; that Parliament must ensure that if follows up on the review conference by ensuring that women across provinces are able to participate and give effect to the discussion on the review of the Women's Charter for Gender Equality. This review process will culminate in the adoption of Women's Charter that speaks to the prevailing challenges faced by South African Women today.
This process of further engagement in the sixth dispensation must be led by Parliament, as the nerve centre of people's power and people's participation.
On the matter related to young people, we had sought at all times to seek and to ensure and to strengthen partnership with young people, especially at the level of local government.
The legislative sector acknowledged that youth as the future are an important stakeholder in the determination of the policies and laws
of South Africa and must therefore participate actively in seeking solutions to the challenges facing the country in general and the youth in particular.
We then resolved as follows: all spheres of government should consider establishing youth directorates to ensure implementation of government undertakings on youth matters; industrialisation should be prioritised in order to create youth employment and this is also informed in the main by what we had picked up from our flagship programme Taking Parliament to the People. You would remember there was a strong view especially in the Eastern Cape during the public hearings where young people were calling for identified areas where they think there are key and strategic for industrialisation which will result in job creation skills development and growing their local economy; youth multipurpose centres must be created throughout the country, which should include skill development and business development.
We also then hosted in 2018 a National Men's Parliament under the theme Consultation process from Provinces, Men Taking Action as Champions of Change.
The inaugural Men's Parliament was hosted in collaboration with the Department of Social Development and the Takuwani Riime Men's Sector. This strategic collaboration has enabled Parliament to create a platform where the voices of men, in the struggle for gender equality and the eradication of gender based violence can be heard.
Parliament must continue to enter into strategic partnerships with organisations from all sectors of our society, in order to eradicate femicide and the feminisation of poverty in our country.
We had at that time resolved that for us to enter into these strategic partnerships, we need to remember people like Karabo Mokoena who was killed by her boyfriend and many others who had to bear the brunt of femicide and who are the perpetrators are men. So, therefore that became a point for men then to begin to speak to themselves around these kinds of urgencies.
Out of that, there was strong call by that Men's Parliament to call upon our law enforcement agencies to speedily addresses the alleged allegations also of sexual harassment raised by a beautiful young lady, Ms Gugu.
As part of our resolutions, the provincial legislatures resolved to rollout public education on gender based violence and also scale it down to the level of municipalities and wards in our areas; call for strengthening of Community Policing Forums and Community Safety Forums; charter of values must be included in the curriculum of life orientation in schools.
As we conclude the business of our sectoral work, I must report a very important programme that we had here in Parliament, referred to as Children's Parliament that we hosted in collaboration with Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. It was quite an interesting session. We know that these are non-voters because they don't have identity documents and all those sort of things, but they were vocal on their rights as children.
We had resolved coming out of that exercise to also find within our committees as Members of Parliament to ensure that the gender of abuse of our kids is placed and it occupies a centre stage. In all our debates as Members of Parliament, there was a specific request that speak about us after having consulted and being with us and having heard what we are saying as the children of South Africa. But then who can speak on that? It is us who represent them here in Parliament.
Our social transformation agenda has been very clear over the years that we are in fact in the process of building a new society through strengthening sectoral engagement. We are not rebuilding as this almost gives impression that there was a time in our history where universal equality, respect for human rights and dignity existed for all. We are not rebuilding anymore.
Colonial oppression, discrimination and violence including violence associated with systematic social and economic exclusion is what we have inherited and we need to build a new society that is peaceful, equal and just as envisaged in our NDP.
We make the case that inequality at the social and economic levels over centuries need to be addressed, if we are to reduce social ills in our society, we need to put more emphasis in addressing those social ills.
Patriarchy divides society and must be combated in all its forms and stealing from the Men's Parliament, it starts with us as men. Gender-based stereotype socialisation of girls and boys must be addressed as a matter of urgency to build social cohesion by ensuring that within the curriculum of our schools, there is an example. During our time, we used to have a session referred as
guidance. Then a special proposal was made that it must then be reintroduced but focus on that social reorientation.
Patriarchy is an ideological construct of a system encompassing ideological beliefs, values and practice underpinning the organisation and structure of society, resulting in unequal power relations between women and men.
The subjugation and subordination of women in ... [Interjections.]